“Perdicaris Alive or Raisuli Dead”

John Hay’s ringing phrase helped nominate T. R., but it covered an embarrassing secret that remained concealed for thirty years

On a scented Mediterranean May evening in 1904 Mr. Ion Perdicaris, an elderly, wealthy American, was dining with his family on the vine-covered terrace of the Place of Nightingales, his summer villa in the hills above Tangier. Besides a tame demoiselle crane and two monkeys who ate orange blossoms, the family included Mrs. Perdicaris; her son by a former marriage, Cromwell Oliver Varlcy, who (though wearing a great name backward) was a British subject; and Mrs. Varley.

 
 
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